Cone-driven synaptic response in a horizontal cell during a paired whole-cell recording. Depolarization of a cone gates voltage-gated Calcium channels, allowing calcium influx (ICa), which triggers fusion of glutamate-filled synaptic vesicles. The glutamate evokes a post-synaptic excitatory current in the horizontal cell by activating AMPA-type receptors.

See Van Hook & Thoreson 2013, JoVE

Differences in rod- and cone-driven EPSC kinetics measured in a single post-synaptic horizontal cell. After recording synaptic responses in a cone-HC paired recording, the pipette was removed from the cone and a new pipette was used to establish a recording from a nearby HC while maintaining a voltage-clamp recording from the horizontal cell. See Van Hook & Thoreson 2015, Physiological Reports.

Paired whole-cell recording of a cone (yellow) and horizontal cell (pink) in salamander retinal slice.

A video summary of our recent paper published in The Journal of General Physiology

Van Hook Lab

Calcium imaging in a single rod in a horizontal slice of a salamander retina. The rod was loaded with the calcium-sensitive dye Fluo5F and calcium influx was triggered by a depolarizing step (from -70 mV to -25 mV).

See Van Hook & Thoreson 2014. Synapse.


A complete list can be found here.

Bhandari A, Smith JC, Zhang Y, Jensen AA, Reid L, Goeser T, Fan S, Ghate D, Van Hook MJ. (2019). Early-stage ocular hypertension alters retinal ganglion cell synaptic transmission in the visual thalamus. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 13:426. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00426. PMID: 31607867

 Teotia P, Van Hook MJ, Fischer, Ahmad I. Human retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration by recapitulating developmental mechanism: Effects of recruitment of the mTOR pathway. Development. 146: dev178012. doi:10.1242/dev.178012. PMID: 31273087.

 Wen X, Van Hook MJ, Grassmeyer JJ, Wiesman AI, Rich GM, Cork KM, Thoreson WB. (2018). Endocytosis sustains release at photoreceptor ribbon synapses by restoring fusion competence. Journal of General Physiology. 150:591-611. PMID: 29555658

Teotia P, Van Hook MJ, Wichman CS, Allingham RR, Hauser MA, Ahmad I. (2017). Modeling glaucoma: retinal ganglion cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells of patients with SIX6 risk allele show developmental abnormalities. Stem Cells. ​in press. PMID: 28792678.

Teotia P, Van Hook MJ, Ahamd I. (2017). A co-culture model for determining the target specificity of de novo generated retinal ganglion cells. Bio Protoc. 7(7). pii:; e2212. PMID: 28660235.

​Van Hook MJ, Babai N, Zurawaski Z, Yim YY, Hamm HE, Thoreson WB. (2017). A presynaptic group III mGluR recruits Gbg/SNARE interactions to inhibit synaptic transmission by cone photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina. The Journal of Neuroscience. 37:4618-4634. PMID: 28363980.

Teotia P, Chopra DA, Dravid SM, Van Hook MJ, Qiu F, Morrison J, Rizzino A, Ahmad I. (2016) Generation of functional human retinal ganglion cells with target specificity from pluripotent stem cells by chemically defined recapitulation of developmental mechanism. Stem Cells. PMID: 27709736.

Warren TJ, Van Hook MJ, Tranchina D, Thoreson WB. (2016). Kinetics of inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors: implications for an ephaptic mechanism. J Neurosci. 36:10075-88. PMID: 27683904

Warren TJ, Van Hook MJ, Supuran CT, Thoreson WB. (2016). Sources of protons and a role for bicarbonate in inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells to cones in Ambystoma tigrinum retina. J Physiol. PMID: 27345444

Cork KM, Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2016). Mechanisms, pools, and sites of spontaneous vesicle release at synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors. Eur J Neurosci, 44:2015-27. PMID: 27255664.​

Thoreson WB, Van Hook MJ, Parmelee C, Curto C. (2016). Modeling and measurement of vesicle pools at the cone ribbon synapse: Changes in release probability are solely responsible for voltage-dependent changes in release. Synapse. 70:1-14. PMID: 26541100.

*Cover illustration.

Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2015). Weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering supports sustained synaptic transmission by distinct mechanisms in rod and cone photoreceptors in salamander retina. Physiological Reports. 3:e12567. PMID: 26416977.

Chen M, Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2015). Ca2+ diffusion through endoplasmic reticulum supports elevated intraterminal Ca2+ levels needed to sustain synaptic release from rods in darkness. The Journal of Neuroscience. 35:11364-11373. PMID: 26269643.

Van Hook MJ, Parmelee CM, Chen M, Cork KM, Curto C, Thoreson WB. (2014). Calmodulin enhances ribbon replenishment and shapes filtering of synaptic transmission by cone photoreceptors. The Journal of General Physiology. 144:357-378. PMID: 25311636.

*Cover illustration  *Highlighted in "Generally Physiological*Video summary.

Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2014). Endogenous calcium buffering at photoreceptor synaptic terminals in salamander retina. Synapse. 68:518-528. PMID: 25049035.

Bennett LD, Hopiavuori BR, Brush RS, Chan M, Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB, Anderson RE. (2014). Examination of VLC-PUFA-deficient photoreceptor terminals. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. 55:4063-4072. PMID: 24764063.

Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2013). Simultaneous whole cell recordings from photoreceptors and second-order neurons in an amphibian retinal slice     preparation. Journal of Visualized Experiments. e50007. PMID: 23770753.

Chen M, Van Hook MJ, Zenisek D, Thoreson WB (2013). Properties of ribbon and non-ribbon release from rod photoreceptors revealed by visualizing individual synaptic vesicles. The Journal of Neuroscience. 33:2071-2086. PMID: 23365244.

Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2012). Rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis in cone photoreceptors of salamander retina. The Journal of Neuroscience. 32:18112-18123. PMID: 23238726.

Mercer A, Szakewski R, Jackman S, Van Hook MJ, Thoreson WB. (2012). Regulation of presynaptic strength by controlling Ca2+ channel mobility: effects of cholesterol depletion on release at the cone ribbon synapse. Journal of Neurophysiology. 107:3468-3478. PMID: 22442573.

Van Hook MJ, Wong KY, Berson DM. (2012). Dopaminergic modulation of ganglion-cell photoreceptors in rat. European Journal of Neuroscience. 35:507-518. PMID: 22304466.

Van Hook MJ, Berson DM. (2010). Hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih) in ganglion-cell photoreceptors. PLoS One. 5:e15344. PMID: 21187958.

Gibson HE, Edwards JG, Page RS, Van Hook MJ, Kauer JA. (2008). TRPV1 channels mediate long-term depression at synapses on hippocampal interneurons. Neuron. 13:746-59. PMID: 18341994.